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General and Wife, Victims of Metro Crash, Are Laid to Rest

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Family, friends and members of the military gathered on Monday at a memorial service for Major General David F. Wherley and Ann Wherley, two of the victims from a recent metro train crash.

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And there was David Wherley the husband.

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During his military career, which began in ROTC at Fordham University and included a deployment to Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War, he worked long hours and spent a lot of time away from home.

But nearing retirement, he would make it a point to go home for lunch, said Lt. Col. Kevin McAndrews, the spokesman for the D.C. National Guard.

"We just don't want to be apart from each other," McAndrews remembered him saying one day after Ann called to ask when he would be home for lunch.

Ann Wherley, a gourmet cook, was a successful mortgage broker and also volunteered as a docent at the U.S. Botanical Garden. She was a breast cancer survivor who had a keen sense of when those close to her needed a friend, even if they didn't ask.

When the father of Toni Aluisi, a neighbor and friend, was ill, "she was always there for me," Aluisi said. "She'd call and say, 'I'm taking you out right now.' " About a month ago, the Wherleys and Aluisi went to see the Temptations at the Kennedy Center.

"The three of us were singing the whole time," Aluisi said. "At one point they looked at each other, and they had this look in their eye, and he grabbed her hand."

They were in Weight Watchers together, razzing each other over who could lose the most weight. And they threw dinner parties, which were showcases for the latest recipes Ann Wherley was trying. Although Ann was in charge of the kitchen, David "would purposefully mix people from different groups, and they were real adamant that you had to sit boy-girl," said friend Peggy Mozley.

For years, they hosted a party on New Year's Day, making their guests wear silly paper hats and give predictions for the coming year that ranged from the serious (Who will win the election?) to the silly (Will aliens invade Earth?).

They grew up in York County, Pa., with a childhood of homemade ice cream, forts in the woods, baseball and mothers who rang cowbells to summon their children for supper, said Clare Wherley, David's sister.

Theirs was "a love story so complete, and special words cannot do it justice," said Betsy Regan, the couple's 35-year-old daughter.

Father's Day, the day before he and his wife died, David Wherley couldn't stop talking about his two children, said Charles King, who spent the day with him, playing golf.


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